Something To Be Thankful For

Decorative image of gift bottle with a tag that reads 'Thanks for existing in my little galaxy!'

Over the past several weeks, I have received around four dozen emails, texts, PMs, and other messages related to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Last year, we ran a roundup of deals happening throughout the WordPress ecosystem. However, we are not running such a post this year. It took a solid week to compile and piece together the previous article. It was a lot of work for what was a statistical dud. Readership tends to wane around holidays as people spend more time offline and with their families.

Plus, I firmly believe that our readers would rather see what we have to say about a particular product than simply scroll through a list of offers that are already widely shared on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere.

As George Olaru, the CEO of Pixelgrade, wrote in I discount, you discount, we both lose, software is not a perishable food item. It is not at risk of spoilage in a few days, and if it is, we have a real problem. On the flip side, some small businesses rely on this holiday to generate a large portion of their yearly revenue. However, we should all have some serious conversations about whether it is healthy for discounted software to permeate the WordPress plugin and theme markets every time a holiday rolls around. Whatever your stance, Olaru’s piece is worth reading and thinking on.

It is also tough to get into the holiday spirit this year. With Covid-19, the Black Friday markets have changed, which is probably not a bad thing on the whole — do we all really need to pile into stores to fight over the latest gadgets? The pandemic has also meant that families have had to make hard decisions about gatherings. The Tadlock family decided to cancel our pre-Thanksgiving/reunion we have in early November. We host it early because the doctors and nurses in the family often have to work on the holiday, and they agreed that a large gathering was not ideal. Fortunately, we live in an era where we can connect with each other in moments and from vast distances.

No, it did not feel right to do a sales roundup this year. Instead, I wanted to get back to the root of the Thanksgiving holiday, at least what I was taught the holiday was supposed to be about.

While tomorrow’s Thanksgiving holiday is an American tradition, I am certain our readers abroad can join in the celebration. It is a day of giving thanks for the blessings of the previous year. In times past, this has often meant being thankful for the harvest and having food on the table. Today, it still means the same to many. However, the holiday is all about counting our blessings, and that is something we should all take time to do.

This year, the thing I am most thankful for is the community, the people who all band together to create the most used CMS on the web, the people who evangelize the platform, and the people who continually take part in this grand experiment.

One of the things I attempt to do when writing is to share exciting things happening in our little corner of the world. Yes, I am often critical too. This is because I want to see people and companies strive to create better themes, plugins, and other products. For those times when I stretch to hyperbole or perhaps lean toward the negative, know that it comes from a place that is hoping for your success. It is hard to balance at times, but I am thankful that I can do this day in and day out.

After writing for the Tavern for over a year now, I feel like I am on a wondrous journey with so many of you. Whether it is a random message just to say hello or a ping about a new product, I look forward to seeing it all.

These human-to-human connections were not something I was expecting as I began this gig. Thank you to everyone who has made that possible.

Let’s all take a day and share some of the WordPress-related things we are thankful for this year — we can all save our block editor criticisms for tomorrow. It has been a rough year. We could all really use some positivity right now.

What are you thankful for?


13 responses to “Something To Be Thankful For”

  1. I’m thankful for the Gutenberg team who have modernized the editor and made writing long form content easier and more fun.

    I’m thankful for the volunteers who keep the wheels turning.

    I’m also thankful for the free plugins and themes I use and their authors, who take the time to answer questions and help users.

    This is a great time to leave a note of appreciation / review for any free plugin or theme you are using.


  2. Lovely post and message, Justin. Thanks to you and the crew for keeping the Tavern fire bright and warm.

  3. So many many things. In my personal life I’m thankful for a job that doesn’t make me work over the holidays. And even have some days off AROUND the holidays.

    I’m hugely thankful that during a pandemic humanity has the internet. I can see my friends faces and talk with them, essentially any time I want. What a blessing.

    I’m thankful for the global community that is my friend pool. The number of countries in which I DON’T have a friend is much shorter than the other list. Cheers to WordPress for that.

    I could go on and on, but I won’t. :)

  4. Wanted to write in support of annual discounting.

    Most people who need WordPress-related software for a business purpose are going to buy it when the need it for a project, not wait around until the one time during the year they can get a discount.

    OTOH, some people who want to purchase the products for their own use find the prices too high to be comfortable for their budget and would not normally buy, but are willing to buy when discounted.

    In other words, I believe the discounts target a market that generally differs from the market that buys during the rest of the year. If the discounts are not offered, then only the latter are captured as customers instead of capturing both.

    Of course there may be other reasons to not want to capture the discount-seeker market; i.e. they may have higher support burden, but offering infrequent discounts is not necessarily problematic simply because of the discount’s affect on margins. Sure there might be crossover cannibalization, but I’d be willing to bet the crossover is minimal.

    All that said, mine is just an different opinion on the matter and the only way to know for sure is to test. But testing is hard and most vendors in the WordPress space don’t have the resources nor the volume to test properly, and even so it would hard to test without at least one year of discounting to evaluation.

    So, I make this counterpoint for those who are trying to decided on discounting to give them more than one perspective.

    P.S. I have no dog in this hunt today. I have not done any WordPress work in a while so I am not planning to make any 3rd party purchases for the foreseeable future, and certainly not any Black Friday deals.

  5. Justin , a great article , great writer , always read his contributions.
    never compromise hard work , and he’s right not to under-price .

  6. I’m thankful for this post. Your step back has resulted in taking a pause to also realize that I am thankful for what I have and what I have become, to be thankful for the generous givings of those around me, and move away from the commercialism of the holiday(s).

    Thank you, Justin. Cheers!

  7. I am thankful to the WordPress and open source community for creating an ecosystem where anyone can learn and earn for a living.
    Special Thanks to Matt Mullenweg and all the contributers of WordPress, because of them today people like me are able to work and generate income from home even during COVID.

  8. Lovely post, Justin. Many of your posts force me to take a pause mindfulnesses to make sense of yourself and what is happening around. Thank you very much! Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. We don’t do Thanksgiving here in the U.K., but were we to…

    I’m thankful for this website – WP Tavern. I read it almost every single day and it’s without peer in the WordPress space for keeping us all informed in an intelligent way.

  10. Happy thanksgiving, Justin. Over here in Africa we also enjoy your posts and and try as much as we can to keep in touch. Beautiful post this is.

  11. Thank you for your post and the positive vibe.

    I’m thankful for the volunteers who make the easiest-to-use open source CMS for beginner like me. I use WordPress mainly for blogging and saving memories and inspirations, the good and nice things in the past, and also wishes for the future.

    Thanks again for the positive vibe in your post.


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